John Goodman Reveals Brush with 'Nervous Breakdown' Amid Career Woes

John Goodman reflects on evolving challenges and aspirations

by Zain ul Abedin
John Goodman Reveals Brush with 'Nervous Breakdown' Amid Career Woes
© Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Even stars with illustrious careers encounter personal trials. On the “SmartLess” podcast, John Goodman, celebrated for his role on “The Conners,” candidly discussed with hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes how his passion for acting has shifted with age.

“I’m still learning. The last few years have felt odd because I’ve been trying too hard to excel, which doesn’t really work,” Goodman reflected. He elaborated on how over-preparation was hampering his performances.

At 71, Goodman, who has impressively shed 200 pounds, voiced his most profound recent challenge: self-doubt. “The fear of losing trust in myself was daunting. I overcompensated by pushing myself too much, but I've started to move past that recently,” he admitted.

His turning point came during a therapy session, which he described as pivotal: “I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That day was terrible, nothing seemed to work, but it was also a moment of cleansing”.

Goodman's Renewed Outlook

Goodman has since found a renewed sense of calm, stressing the importance of relaxation in his craft. “Being relaxed and open helps tremendously,” he shared. The veteran actor also pondered whether his advancing age might steer him towards different roles.

Despite his long tenure in familiar roles on “The Conners” and “The Righteous Gemstones,” Goodman expressed a yearning for new challenges. Moreover, Goodman opened up about his journey to sobriety, which spans 16 years.

He credits this period with significant personal growth and an increased ability to face his professional challenges. In 2015, he had shared with The Guardian his struggles with alcoholism and confidence, revealing the pressure he placed on himself.

“I used to demand perfection immediately, which is impossible. It’s about easing into the process and allowing patience with oneself,” Goodman explained. His openness about these struggles is not just for catharsis but also aims to support others dealing with similar issues, showcasing his commitment to growth both as an individual and an artist.